09.10.2017 - Culture Sector

Pavlopetri submerged city Watch Day

Participants being prepared for visiting the sunken city of Pavlopetri, in Greece

At the invitation of the Alliance for the Restoration of Cultural Heritage (ARCH), and in collaboration with the Greek authorities, UNESCO was invited to participate in the second Pavlopetri Watch Day on 29 July 2017.

The Director of the Division for Heritage, Mechtild Rössler, gave a keynote lecture - along with Ms Elena Korka from the Ministry for Culture and the Ephorate for underwater cultural heritage – at the event, held to highlight threats to the unique underwater heritage of Pavlopetri. 

The world’s oldest submerged city, Pavlopetri is located near Neapolis in the southern Peloponnesus. The site is exceptional and all features (houses, streets, graveyards etc.) can be easily observed. It is the first submerged town digitally surveyed in three dimensions. 

Pavlopetri Watch Day was designed to highlight the broad range of cultural and biological resources that make this area both unique and fragile, and to encourage attendees of all backgrounds to help promote and protect the site in the future.  

A snorkeling archaeological tour of Pavlopetri was held, which brought together experts, authorities and local communities. Discussions were held concerning environmental issues and the degrading of the irreplaceable ancient ruins of Pavlopetri, through commercial shipping, illegal waste disposal and fishing, threatening also endangered plant and animal species in the bay.

On 30 July a number of activities were organized at a local school on nearby Elafonisos Island to raise awareness among the population, and particularly young people.                                                                                                      

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